The Harvest of a Century: Discoveries of Modern Physics in 100 Episodes

OUP Oxford, 06.11.2008 - 520 Seiten
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Physics was the leading science of the twentieth century and the book retraces important discoveries, made between 1895 and 2001, in 100 self-contained episodes. Each is a short story of the scientists involved, their time, and their work. Together they form a mosaic of modern physics: formulating relativity and quantum mechanics, finding the constituents of matter and unravelling the forces between them, understanding the working of conductors and semiconductors, discovering and explaining macroscopic quantum effects (superconductivity, superfluidity, quantum Hall effect), developing novel experimental techniques like the Geiger counter and particle accelerators, building revolutionary applications like the transistor and the laser, and observing astonishing features of our cosmos (expanding universe, cosmic background radiation). The text is intended for easy reading. Occasionally, a more thorough discussion of experimental set-ups and theoretical concepts is presented in special boxes for readers interested in more detail. Episodes contain extensive references to biographies and original scientific literature. The book is richly illustrated by about 600 portraits, photographs, and figures.

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53 Fermis Theory of Beta Rays 1933
54 Irène and Frédéric JoliotCurie Artificial Radioactivity 1934
55 Fermi Produces Radioactivity with Neutrons 1934
56 Cherenkov Radiation Discovered 1934 and Explained 1937
57 Prediction of the Meson 1934 Discovery of the Muon 1937
Superfluid Helium 1937
59 Why the Stars Shine 1938
60 Nuclear Fission 1938

8 Rutherford Finds the Law of Radioactive Decay 1900
9 The Transmutation of Elements 1902
10 Einsteins LightQuantum Hypothesis 1905
11 Einstein Creates the Special Theory of Relativity 1905
12 Nernst and the Third Theorem of Thermodynamics 1905
13 Observing a Single Particle The RutherfordGeiger Counter and Later Electronic Detectors 1908
14 Jean Perrin and Molecular Reality 1909
15 Millikans OilDrop Experiment 1910
16 The Atomic Nucleus 1911
17 Tracks of Single Particles in Wilsons Cloud Chamber 1911
18 Kamerlingh Onnes Liquid Helium and Superconductivity 1911
19 Hess Finds Cosmic Radiation 1912
20 Max von Laue The Nature of X Rays and the Atomic Structure of Crystals 1912
21 Bragg Scattering 1912
22 J J Thomson Identifies Isotopes 1912
23 Bohrs Model of the Atom 1913
24 Moseley and the Periodic Table of Elements 1913
25 The FranckHertz Experiment 1914
26 Einstein Completes the General Theory of Relativity 1915
27 Sommerfeld Spatial Quantization and Fine Structure 1916
28 Nitrogen is Turned into Oxygen 1919
29 Astronomers Verify General Relativity 1919
30 Stern and Gerlach Observe Spatial Quantization 1922
31 The Compton Effect The Light Quantum Gains Momentum 1923
32 Matter Waves Proposed by de Broglie 1923
33 Bose and Einstein A New Way of Counting 1924
34 Bothe and Geiger Coincidence Experiments 1925
35 Paulis Exclusion Principle 1925
36 Spin 1925
37 Heisenberg and the Creation of Quantum Mechanics 1925
38 Diracs Mechanics of q Numbers 1925
39 Schrödinger Creates Wave Mechanics 1926
40 Borns Probability Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics 1926
41 FermiDirac Statistics Yet Another Way of Counting 1926
42 Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle and Bohrs Complementarity 1927
43 Quantum Mechanics and Relativity The Dirac Equation 1928
44 The Band Model of Conductors and Semiconductors 192831
45 Hubble Finds that the Universe is Expanding 1929
46 Pauli Presents His Neutrino Hypothesis 1930
47 Lawrence and the Cyclotron 1931
48 Chadwick Discovers the Neutron 1932
49 Anderson Discovers the Positron 1932
50 Nuclear Reaction Brought About by Machine 1932
Isospin 1932
52 The Proton Displays an Anomalous Magnetic Moment 1933
61 Two Transuranium Elements Finally Found Neptunium and Plutonium 194041
62 Landau Explains Superfluidity 1941
63 Fermi Builds a Nuclear Reactor 1942
Phase Stability 1945 and Strong Focussing 1952
65 Magnetic Resonance 1945
66 The Pi Meson Discovered by the Photographic Method 1947
67 The Lamb Shift 1947
68 Strange Particles 1947
69 The Transistor 1947
70 The Shell Model A Periodic Table for Nuclei 1949
71 Quantum Electrodynamics and Feynman Diagrams 1949
72 Glasers Bubble Chamber 1953
73 The Maser 1954
74 Strangeness A New Quantum Number 1955
75 Antimatter 1955
76 The Neutrino Finally Observed 1956
77 Parity A Symmetry Broken 1957
78 Superconductivity Explained by Bardeen Cooper and Schrieffer 1957
79 Weak Interaction Better Understood The V A Theory 1957
80 Keeping Ions in a Trap 1958
81 The Mössbauer Effect 1958
82 The Laser 1960
83 ParticleAntiparticle Colliders 1961
84 Nonlinear Optics 1961
85 There is More than One Kind of Neutrino 1962
86 Semiconductor Heterostructures Efficient Laser Diode Proposed 1963 and Built 1970
87 Three Quarks Order in the Wealth of New Particles 1964
The Peculiar System of the Neutral K Meson and Its Antiparticle 1964
89 Blackbody Radiation from the Early Universe 1965
90 Two Forces of Nature are Only One Electroweak Interaction 1967
91 Weak Neutral Currents A Glimmer of Heavy Light 1973
92 Quantum Chromodynamics QCD The New Theory of Strong Interaction 1973
93 A Fourth Quark Charm 1974
94 The Discovery of the Gluon 1979
95 The Quantum Hall Effect 1980
96 Wand Z Boson Discovered 1983
97 Cooling and Trapping Neutral Atoms 1985
98 There are Just Three Generations 1989
99 BoseEinstein Condensation of Atoms 1995
100 Neutrinos Have Mass 1998 2001
Epilogue What Have We Learnt? What is to Come?
Photo Credits
Name Index
Subject Index

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Über den Autor (2008)

Siegmund Brandt is Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Siegen. Born in Berlin in 1936, he studied in Bonn under Wolfgang Paul. For his diploma (1959) he built a small bubble chamber, detecting particles produced by the Bonn synchrotron. The subject of his Ph.D thesis (1963) was the production of strange particles in a hydrogen bubble chamber at CERN in Geneva, where he worked from 1961 to 1965. In 1966 he became Privatdozent at the University of Heidelberg, continuing particle-physics research with bubble chambers at CERN and at DESY in Hamburg. In 1972 Brandt moved to the new university in Siegen as a member of the Foundation Senate. With his group he participated in experiments using large electronic detectors at electron-positron colliders at DESY, in which the gluon was found, and later in an experiment at the LEP collider at CERN, which concentrated on production and properties of the heavy bosons W and Z.

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